Back to School
I have been enjoying this semester greatly. I have just finished doing the titles for Spring Show for the Academy of Art University. Many of my students have produced professional quality work, and I am awed by the time all of them put in.
I have switched departments - from New Media to VFX/Animation, and I have to say it has been a good transition, the two departments function as compare and contrast exercises in what's going on in computer graphics - style versus technical skill. New Media is all about style, multi-discipline, and perception, but I usually struggled through instructing even basic concepts in After Effects. VFX students are gearheads and like to read computer manuals for fun, do fluid simulations in their spare time, etc- however, typography and the world of design isn't much on their radars. So it's been a challenge, an interesting and exciting one, and my students put up with me using them as guinea pigs for Curricullum changes/evil experiments/ untold amounts of homework.
I will post links to a few of the students who have produced some really exceptional work- The highlight of the class had to be the final projects of two groups who had some connections to some martial artists who they filmed with a Red One (!) in the green screen studio here in the Academy. I remember filming my final project in studio for my Senior Project- to be the instructor on hand during this shoot made me excited for my students, and made me feel young and old at the same time. (Student work c/o Artur, Roger, Yasemin, Carlos, Christian, and Louis. You know who you are.)
I also have been cranking away on projects at Cobra. Two new projects since YouTube- one for Suzuki (a basic dealer type spot) and one for a prominent tech brand that is re-branding and re-positioning itself to be competitive in this desert fiscal landscape of 2009. Also a few secret projects of self promotional value, and some co-lab work for Mekanism here in SF.
Final project- Getting VeloBrew launched, sold, and drank by the masses. This homebrew was sold as a fundraiser for my Aids Life Cycle ride which is happening in... oh... 2 weeks! Months of training and focusing is coming up to the ride here. I have done a lot of prepping, had an art auction with all of my friends (which... of course, I did not document with this amazing medium known as photography) and produced these nice homemade booklets and posters. I am proud of how this project turned out - the first time in a while I have been maybe 50% satisfied with something, rather then focusing on the flaws of the piece or comparing it to what else is out there. The blessing and the curse of seeing amazing work all day, every day, is that it can paralyze you into not doing anything. Well, to hell with that. I am getting as much done as I can in 2009 with the finite amount of energy and life available to me.
More work at Cobra, including selling our broadcast motion graphics harder, a project with Alexander Tarrant for a short web film festival thingy, and trying to start composing nicer pics with my DSLR. I also have been learning some serious c4d this year, with a lot of Mograph module, Expresso, and Thinking Particles finally making sense to me, although the world of creating nice models with clean geometry, real character rigging with IK, and bodypaint is still out of my grasp a bit. I still don't understand every switch and dial in the program, but have started to become comfortable answering questions on forums and analyzing the work I see. Justin and I have been doing visuals as an excuse to learn the technicalities of the various modules, including a bang up show for Flying Lotus.
I developed a bunch of Holga shots from last year, and mixed in with the rolls was one roll from winter of 2005, in Colorado. A lot of light had leaked in and exposed the roll, resulting in haunting, washed out, wintery surreal images, with a young dude staring back at me through the print. I can see why some folks go Holga and never look back- the shock of not having unlimited control which in turn creates happy accidents is something I have lost in going so digital. My next project might just be a group of songs played on prepared piano with typewritten pages.
John Cage - o - vison.
The work I did for Youtube through Cobra Creative has gone live... This is a promotional campaign showcasing YouTube’s dominance of the eyeballs of the peoples of the internets and how it can be utilized for ad campaigns. I worked on most all of the c4d on these projects- The design was all done at Cobra and motion designer Jake Hawley also worked on 3d + composite.
I’m particularly happy with the way the “Media Ball” section came out on the Audience targeting section - basically a bunch of clones being pushed around by effectors in Cinema. I feel as though the communication is particularly visual and clear here; the customer can physically see how their concept or campaign gets filtered and specified in a pretty visual way. I think a lot of internet concepts are hard to distill to some sort of visual, we usually end up designing a globe for “international and global”, usually with lines crisscrossing the face to show “IT”, and a giant “icon cloud” to show a breadth of skill, products, and services or divisions. Are there better ways to visualize these common themes?